Last Saturday, we packed up the whole crew and went to the beach so Brody could take a surfing lesson. I admit it was a bit of an ambitious plan considering I hadn’t even taken him to the beach yet, but the opportunity presented itself and I found it irresistible. C’mon, we’re talking about a dog named Brody– if ever there was a name fit for a surfer, that is it.
The surf lesson was organized by the local Golden Retriever Meetup group, which is really active and puts on amazing events on a regular basis. I felt a twinge nervous bringing Koa along since unless one is color blind (well, even then you’d figure it out) she is very clearly not Golden, but I wanted her to get to see the beach too.
I had waited on bringing the dogs to the beach for a number of reasons. The first and primary one is that Brody is still a bit unreliable on the “come” command and I had visions of him jumping to and fro all over beachgoers (that one did happen), but the second reason is that the last time I went to Dog Beach was a couple of days before Emmett died, and I was concerned that I might be a little emotional.
I needn’t have worried, though. I was so nervous about the prospect of getting in the freezing water without a wetsuit that I didn’t have time to get all poignant.
Upon arriving, I turned the dogs loose to run off some morning energy while I surveyed the situation. This guy with the surfboard clearly knew what he was doing (and the Bernese was a fantastic surfer as well).
We were fortunate enough to meet the Big Kahuna herself, Surf Dog Ricochet (more on that later). She is a major celebrity in the surf dog world.
The surfing was fun, but let’s be honest- the tennis ball was the main attraction. (see the dog on the board in the distance, looking longingly at the ball?)
Brody’s surf lesson consisted of wading into the frigid water, coaxing him onto the board, and sending him off towards shore while I whooped and cheered. I am off to the left outside the picture, looking a fright, but lest you are concerned I turned Brody over to random dude in a wetsuit, no, I am there too.
He had no clue what the heck was going on.
This is him in the process of falling off, but fortunately he had Koa to spot him.
He caught one wave particularly well and we were all very proud. His dignity intact, he was turned loose after this odd experience to do what he does best, goof off.
Brody debriefs his admirers. “Oh no really, it was totally easy.”
I kind of wanted to steal this little guy. Like, a whole lot.
I learned that there is an entire surfing team of Goldens who do this competitively. I was thrilled and happy to learn that far from being a random way to spend your weekends, surf dog competitions have a long and storied history of giving back and supporting many fine causes. A sport after my own heart.
So is this the face of the next great Golden surfing champion?
The answer is: probably not, since his mama can’t surf and has no plans to learn. But we had fun anyway, and who knows? Maybe this old dog can learn some new tricks too.
If you want any more doggie eye candy to make you smile on this Monday morning, there’s more pictures at Flickr.
And if you want to tear up a little instead, check out this video about Ricochet and her work as a “surfice” dog.